By Annie Arnone
At the front of the lecture hall in the Engineering building stands Hüda Doulah and her best friend Haleema Mustafa dressed in an embroidered dress and pants, and a silk, floor-length dress—both outfits complete with hijabs. These are the two best friends whose channel ‘YungSamosas’ is is taking over the internet.
“We love samosas, and we had to add the ‘yung’ for street cred” Mustafa laughs.
The two began a fashion channel on youtube about one year ago, showcasing their styles with their hijabs as the centre focus.
The duo explains the importance of a “bad Hijab day” in the midst of their presentation about appreciation, verses appropriation to professor Ben Barry’s fashion design class on March 15.
“The difference between appreciation and appropriation is having representation in everything you’re doing,” said Doulah. “Say you’re a fashion designer catering to Muslims or hijabs, you need to have Muslim women involved with you, have them collaborate with you, appropriation happens when you use people who don’t relate to the issue, and advertise it in a way that isn’t inclusive.”
They added that companies such as Nike are on the route of appreciation with their new hijab sports attire. Despite the companies controversial history in the past, Mustafa believes that the collaboration between Nike and Muslim athletes in designing these hijabs are very refreshing.
The two touched on the fact that hijabs are seen as symbols of oppression by many, but believe that is the furthest from the truth.
“Women are not around for consumption,” said Mustafa. “There is always a middle path—the fact that people bring women so low to the point where they don’t want to put themselves out there on social media is so sad.”
This is an ideal that sparked the theme of the YungSamosa Youtube channel. Mustafa made a post about wanting to start a Youtube fashion channel and Doulah sent her a message expressing that she was “hella down. Women empowerment is a core belief that Doulah says her and Mustafa always stick to.
“Fashion empowers me because I am able to practice wearing the hijab and the fact that I can incorporate fashion every day with my head scarf on, while incorporating modesty means I don’t have to sacrifice my religious beliefs,” said Doulah. “I can be a practising Muslim while rocking my favourite dress. And that empowers me as a woman.”
“We started off with fashion, and incorporated funny challenges into our videos, inspired by our favourite Youtuber, Dina Tokio,” said Doulah.
Tokio is a well-known Youtube personality that posts “how to” videos on how to tie a hijab in different ways, as well as fashion look books based on the season.
Mustafa and Doulah plan on continuing their internet presence, and hope to empower hijab-wearing women who are told that they can’t be devout Muslims and wear their favourite, modest outfits at the same time.